Skip to comments.Murder in the Mountains
Posted on 01/21/2013 12:36:06 AM PST by iowamark
On Jan. 18, 1863, troops from the 64th North Carolina Infantry under the command of Lt. Col. James Keith lined up 13 men and boys, ranging in age from 13 to 60, made them kneel and shot them at point-blank range. Then the soldiers tossed the bodies into a shallow grave, from where they were later reclaimed by family members for burial.
This incident in Madison County, N.C., known to history as the Shelton Laurel massacre, was hardly the worst example of violence visited on civilian populations during the Civil War. On Aug. 21, 1863, scarcely a month after the murders in North Carolina first received national press coverage, the Confederate guerrilla leader William C. Quantrill led a raid on Lawrence, Kan., that killed 183 men and boys.
But Shelton Laurel provides an especially compelling look at the internecine war between Confederate authorities and pro-Union sympathizers in the mountains of western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. Madison County sits on the border with Tennessee and in 1863 was incredibly isolated...
The county also featured one of the states sharpest political divides over the issue of secession... it stemmed from an amalgam of class resentment against the slave owners and tenant farmers who had supported secession; a deeply engrained rural suspicion of urban places; and a widespread feeling that the wealthy were threatening hard-working common people.
The Unionism of Western North Carolina
was less a love for the Union than a personal hatred of those who went into the Rebellion. It was not so much an uprising for the government as against a certain ruling class.
(Excerpt) Read more at opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com ...
NY Times Disunion is an excellent series on the coinflict.
Part of the Confederate detachment that murdered the 13 people of Shelton Laurel Massacre. Cherokee attachment.
My grandfather always said that when his father was a young man in Salina Kansas the he rode with Quantrill several times.
I'll pick it up again tonight and post back about the chapter on this event.
I’m not so certain that Thomas’ Cherokees participated in the Shelton Laurel Massacre, will advise after digging back into the book.
Thanks, I’d like that.
I'm going to pull it out tonight and see if anything was lifted verbatim.
“My paternal great grandaddy rode with Bedford Forest.”
Mine, too. He was among the Louisiana troops who rode with Nathan Bedford Forrest.
I read somewher that Lt. Col. Keith went to the jail in Waynesville, opened the cells, and got the prisoners to ride with him, then burned it down.
I did a non-thesis graduate program where I did an independent study of the Civil War in the Appalachian region. A fine mess- most people in the mountains supported the Union, and there was warfare among those who did and did not, with the Confederate government attempting to enforce its will with only limited success; and on top of that, lawless individuals taking opportunity to kill and plunder. A lot of folks who fly a Rebel flag in their yard or on their truck have no idea their ancestors might not have done so....
Well, well well. That makes three of us. Only it was my maternal Great Grandfather. Fourth Corporal Alexander P. Bradley (1846-1932) of the 12th Mississippi Cavalry. Age 15 in 1861. And two GG uncles that are buried in the Confederate Cemetary at Brices Cross Roads. No mass grave there like at Shiloh.
Here’s a link to another such book:
Also, Philip Shaw Paludan’s “Victims: A True Story of the Civil War” is a pretty good account of what happened at Shelton Laurel.
One of my Dad’s family rode with McNeil’s raiders who crossed the Potomac I think in early 1864 and captured General Crook and held him for a short time for ransom. He took the General’s sidearm a Whitney dragoon and I still have it in very good condition. Its been handed down in our family ever since. Someday I will pass it on to my nephew.
Just for balance I would like to see them post something about the atrocities the Yankees did to Southerners, showing their flag like when they flew it on the slave ships.
There are several gravestones at a small cemetery near here that say the person was “Killed by Bushwackers” in the 1860s.
There is a spot less than a mile from me where several men were murdered by “PIN” Indians from Oklahoma. Many years ago a local Hardware owner (now deceased) said his grandfather had to hide out in the brush north of town because of the constant prowling of bushwackers in this area.
In the Civil War, pro Union Indians were given to killing any white MAN they found in this area.
Info on PIN Indians..
A trend we’ll likely see if things don’t get sorted out soon.